The family meeting now involves discussions on Internet safety for kids — what parents expect from their children in terms of responsible Internet usage, and discussions about common-sense precautions that will keep kids safe online.
Social media is of particular importance here. According to a recent Pew Research Center Internet report, 81 percent of teens surveyed between the ages of 12-17 use social media, and while many kids have profiles on common sites like Facebook, they aren't always active on those sites for a variety of reasons: Some kids feel pressured by too much sharing, perceived or real bullying or because they don't feel free to express themselves. They may then gravitate towards newer social sites that parents are not aware of. Parents need to know where their kids are online, who they are interacting with, and just as importantly, why they prefer certain social sites over others.
Social Profiles and Privacy Settings
Every social site begins with creating a profile. Kids are getting more savvy about what they put into a profile, but it remains the parent's job to review it, as it is a key point regarding online safety for your kids. In terms of a profile, less is more. Nobody online needs to know where a child goes to school, relationship status, names of pets past or present, home or email addresses, phone numbers or any other identifying information.
Parents can coach their kids about how nefarious individuals use identifying information to gain access to personal accounts, to spam, impersonate them or otherwise cause harm. Help them set their privacy settings to strictly limit who can see their social media activities and view their profile. Friends of friends, for example, don't need to see their posts and photos. Periodically review their privacy settings to ensure that nothing has changed.
Staying Safe on Social Media
The family meeting now involves discussions on Internet safety for kids — what parents expect from their children in terms of responsible Internet usage, and discussions about common-sense precautions that will keep kids safe online...